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Amazon.com Loses VP of Marketing, Unveils New Logo

Amazon.com, which spent $86.5 million on sales and marketing in the third quarter of 1999, is losing its vice president of marketing, Jaleh Bisharat, who is leaving to be closer to her family after just six months on the job.

The news coincides with the e-tailer's launch of its new logo, which changes the orientation of the curve underneath the company's name. Rather than a downward curve, the new logo features a smile-like upward curve between the "a" and the "z" in the name.

Bisharat says her departure has nothing to do with unhappiness at Amazon.com (AMZN). "Jeff Bezos is unparalleled in the support he gives to a marketing person," she insists. "I just decided I had to put my family first."

Bisharat's husband is a tenured professor at University of California's Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. She, along with the couple's two young children, moved to Seattle, and Amazon.com, in June of 1999 after her company, Accept.com, was acquired by the e-tailing giant.

She says she's staying on to help recruit a replacement, and is beginning a search immediately with the help of a professional firm. The marketing job at Amazon.com is a particularly important one for the industry, as its market-share-building (and money losing) advertising efforts have paved the way for many dot-com companies.

Bisharat's last big effort, after having overseen Amazon.com's big holiday marketing push, may be the launch of the company's new logo.

The smile in the logo, she says, is meant to reflect the customer-friendly image of Amazon.com. The fact that the curve goes from the "a" to the "z" is intended to show that Amazon.com's product selection runs the gamut, from its original product books to electronics, toys, and many other items.

"In a very short period of time, Amazon.com has become one of the world's most recognized brands," says Bisharat. "We believe the new logo exudes happiness, is fresh and unique, and has the potential, over time, to join the world's great consumer marks."